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ECB meeting preview: Cautious tone is likely to be reinforced - BBVA

On Thursday, the European Central Bank meets. It is expected to keep the forward guidance and rates unchanged and to announce the end of the purchase program. Analysts at the Research Department at BBVA,  do not expect the ECB to alter its exit strategy for now.

Key Quotes: 

“In the context of weakening growth and growing risks ranging from Italy, Brexit, financial markets volatility and protectionism, the cautious tone is likely to be reinforced. However, we do not expect the ECB to alter its exit strategy for now. They will confirm the end of the APP (asset purchase program) in December, and will probably give some details on the reinvestment policy, but keeping the options open about its duration …"for and extended period of time (…) and in any case as long as necessary".”

“On the possibility of the announcement of a new round of LTROs, it seems too early.”

“On interest rates, do not expect the ECB will alter its forward guidance yet (“Interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019”). Current market expectations are already dovish and probably the ECB does not want to reinforce such expectations.”

“The ECB staff will likely revise their growth forecast down slightly (by around 0.1 pp in 2018 from 2% and by 0.1-0.2 pp from 1.8% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020) and inflation (by around 0.1 pp over the forecast horizon after a slight upward revision to 1.8% this year) driven by softer economic data and lower oil prices. We do not expect significant changes in their view of a gradual convergence towards potential growth and the expected trend in core inflation next year, but a more cautious tone is guaranteed due to increasing downward risks.”

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